While plenty of high-yield opportunities exist, investors must always consider the safety of their dividend and the total return potential of their investment. It is not uncommon for a struggling company to suspend high-yielding dividends which could subsequently result in precipitous share price declines.
TheStreet Ratings' stock rating model views dividends favorably, but not so much that other factors are disregarded. Our model gauges the relationship between risk and reward in several ways, including: the pricing drawdown as compared to potential profit volatility, i.e. how much one is willing to risk in order to earn profits?; the level of acceptable volatility for highly performing stocks; the current valuation as compared to projected earnings growth; and the financial strength of the underlying company as compared to its stock's valuation as compared to its stock's performance.
These and many more derived observations are then combined, ranked, weighted, and scenario-tested to create a more complete analysis. The result is a systematic and disciplined method of selecting stocks. As always, stock ratings should not be treated as gospel — rather, use them as a starting point for your own research.
The following pages contain our analysis of 3 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold." Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.00%. Ship Finance International Limited owns and operates vessels and offshore related assets in Bermuda, Cyprus, Malta, Liberia, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the Marshall Islands. It is also involved in the charter, purchase, and sale of assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.38. The average volume for Ship Finance International has been 447,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ship Finance International has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 11.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. TheStreet Ratings rates Ship Finance International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 27.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
- SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD has improved earnings per share by 5.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD reported lower earnings of $1.01 versus $2.26 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.35 versus $1.01).
- Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
- Net operating cash flow has decreased to $37.06 million or 45.49% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
- You can view the full Ship Finance International Ratings Report.